Marketing and the web

An overview of how to leverage web technologies to achieve your marketing goals.

While many of us have become very familiar with apps to help us live through the pandemic, it begs the question, are we familiar with online tools to help us achieve our marketing goals?

This post is about the web technologies that can be used when planning an online marketing campaign. 

The beautiful thing about the internet is that it can give you all the answers you’re looking for. If you have an ad on Facebook, you can see how many people view it, interact with it, and how many people clicked on it. Moreover, you can then make changes based on this data to try to improve your post or ad. However, you need to have the right infrastructure to be able to take advantage of the internet to get there. The best way to ensure you’re leveraging the web to help you achieve your marketing goals is to make it part of your marketing campaign. 

Let’s start with a regular marketing campaign and how it relates to the web. A marketing campaign has 5 stages:

  1. Initiation
  2. Planning
  3. Development
  4. Execution
  5. Close-out

Initiation

Initiation

In the initiation step of the marketing campaign, you will establish the campaign goals. Example goals could be:

  • Increase Visits by X%
  • Increase Leads by X%
  • Increase Email Subscribers by X%
  • Increase Conversion Rates by X%
  • Increase Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Increase Sales Qualified Leads

Make sure you make your goals are SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. Once you have your goals, you will notice that you have certain requirements. For example, if your goal is to increase the visits to your website by 10% compared to the prior quarter, you need to make sure you are tracking website visitors the quarter before the marketing campaign starts. 

Planning

Planing

Once your campaign is approved and goals are set. It’s time to start gathering the information you need to make this a reality. After the planning is complete, you should know which channels you will be using and what type of content you need for each one.

For example, your marketing campaign may dictate that you contact your target market in different ways such as:

  • Social media
  • Inbound marketing (Search engine optimization)
  • Search engine marketing

Contacting your market via social media will change depending on the platform. If you’re using Twitter, you will want to insert your company into the conversation by being aware of relevant hashtags for your target audience. However, if you’re on Facebook, you may try an approach that is more about posting in groups that are relevant to your audience or creating memes that will get people’s attention. 

Inbound marketing is all about long tail keywords. According to Wordstream, Long-tail keywords are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors are more likely to use when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. You will want to be a master of these keywords and create relevant content that will make your target audience visit your site. Ideally, your lead will submit their information and/or a sale will be made after the visit.

Search engine marketing involves paying a search engine like Google or Bing to appear on the search results. Because many people advertise online, search engines need to decide which ad to show based on keywords. Knowing about SEM will help you be the first result when you’re paying the search engines for advertising.

Next, you will need to decide what assets need to be created for this campaign. You may find that you need the following for your campaign:

  • Content
  • Landing page(s)
  • Blog posts
  • Social media posts
  • Email newsletters
  • Email sequences

It’s generally best to first create the main content since you can derive other content from it. Like social media posts or landing page content.

Here are some tools that can help you depending on your type of content needs:

If your campaign includes blogs:

What you want to do with these tools, is to find relevant topics that your audience will want to read. For example, you may find a new trend using Google Trends and then use SEMRush or BuzzSumo to find the articles that are already written about that topic and then decide what your articles can be about to differentiate yourself. 

If your campaign includes social media outreach:

Likewise, with social media, you want to interact with your audience. Finding the relevant hashtags for your brand may help you hone down on the message or engage with a public looking for your product or service. Moreover, tools like Sprout Social and Hootsuite allow you to listen for mentions in social media about your brand. This allows you to quickly respond to comments and ensure great customer service or even get someone into your sales funnel quicker. 

If your campaign includes FB ads:

From the Facebook Audience Insights page, Facebook Audience Insights was designed to help marketers learn more about their target audiences, including aggregate information about geography, demographics, purchase behavior and more. For example, say you want to raise awareness for your women’s luxury fashion brand, and you sell your products in-store. You’d want to know how many people on Facebook live near your stores, as well as their interests, their past purchase behavior and how they tend to shop (online vs. in-store). Using Audience Insights, you can get aggregate and anonymous information such as:

  • Demographics — Age and gender, lifestyle, education, relationship status, job role and household size
  • Page likes — The top Pages people like in different categories, like women’s apparel or sports
  • Location and language — Where do people live, and what languages do they speak
  • Facebook usage — How frequently are people in your target audience logging onto Facebook and what device(s) they are using when they login
  • Purchases activity — Past purchase behavior (i.e. heavy buyers of women’s apparel) and purchase methods (i.e., in-store, online)

And you can view this information for three different groups of people:

  • People on Facebook (the general Facebook audience)
  • People connected to your Page or event
  • People in Custom Audiences you’ve already created (an audience made up of your current customers)

Audience Insights is different from Page Insights because it looks at trends about your current or potential customers across Facebook, whereas Page Insights looks at the interactions with your Page (i.e., likes, comments and shares).

If your campaign includes online ads:

You can use the same tools for content planning to create ads that people will click on. The great thing about Google Keyword Planner is that it’s using data from Google Adwords so it’s going to be very useful when understanding the different types of keywords that can be used for the same phrase. For example, you may have different results when adding in your ad “We services the Gainesville community” versus “We service you locally”. The Google Keyword Planner would help you choose the best keyword by giving insights into how likely each one is to convert.

Development

Development

No doubt that development is going to be the longest part of your campaign planning process. You need to prepare and coordinate with multiple people in your company or even several outside vendors and ensure everything is ready to go by the due date. It is important to remember that while everything has to be functional, you also need to be tracking engagement to be able to generate the final report and optimize the campaign. Among the things that would need to be done are: the design or the campaign, digital assets for the ads, social media postings, blogs posts, newsletters, etc. 

Web pages will have to be created as well. Keep in mind that it is not enough to have a website that works. Code will have to be installed to track visitors to the site, to track Facebook users, and to create retargeting audiences. Some of the code will need to be triggered on every page load, while other code only gets triggered based on different conditions. 

If you have content pages, make sure they are all connected and that you have a clear pilar page for SEO purposes. 

If you have a landing page, chances are you need someone to fill out a form to receive some lead magnet. Something to take into consideration is where will the subscriber information be sent to? Do you need it to be sent to a CRM? Or maybe a newsletter service? Perhaps a remarketing list? Sometimes is to one of these services, oftentimes to all of them. Automation of these sorts of tasks is very useful and will allow your team to be focused on high level tasks rather than mundane ones. 

Now that you have a website or web pages, it is time to optimize it. It is not enough for your page to load. Google has strict standards on what they consider a good page. These standards ensure people have a good user experience while online. For instance, if your page is not mobile friendly, Google will likely not show it for users navigating from their cellphones. The problem with this is that over 60% of searches are being initiated on smartphones. Then, you need to consider page speed. If a page takes over 3 seconds to load, Google categorizes it as a slow page and will penalize your ranking. This can affect the position of your ad. If you’re running an ad on Google AdWords and your landing page is slow to load, Google may not show your ad in a good position. Even if you’re paying them to do so!

Tools like Pagespeed Insights and Webmaster tools help understand how Google view our sites. To understand how your users navigate your site, you can use mouse tracking tools such as Hotjar. With Hotjar you can see how long someone was on your website, how far down they scroll in your site, how their mouse moved, and more! Gathering this information will help you optimize your page so that more people convert into customers. 

Other experiments you can do before launch are A/B test experiments. A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the process of comparing two versions of a web page, email, or other marketing asset and measuring the difference in performance. You do this giving one version to one group and the other version to another group. Then you can see how each variation performs. The great thing about doing this type of testing is that you can better understand your visitors and make it easier for them to accomplish their desired action, which will eventually help your bottom line. Tools to help with optimization are Google’s Optimize, Optimizely, and Crazyegg

Once all this work is done, don’t forget to set-up and schedule your different campaigns in your different platforms.

Execution

When a campaign is active, you want to monitor and track results. I have encountered customers in the past that have trouble understanding when or if a sale is made. Oftentimes this happens on bigger companies with different departments and different systems. If you’re in that position, it’s a good idea to integrate the different systems that are part of your campaign. For instance, a business development center may mark a customer sale on their system but not let the marketing department know that the customer converted. As a marketing professional, this would create a problem. A simpler version of this happens with AdWords. You may want to track which keywords are converting versus the ones that make people click but not convert. If you don’t install the AdWords code correctly on your website, you may not be able to tell. 

Make sure that you know which metrics are going to be important before launch and that you have a way of getting the data to calculate those very important metrics. 

Close out

Close-Out

In the close-out stage of your marketing campaign, you want to generate a report, update your marketing knowledge base and archive all assets and documents that were used in it.

Conclusion

Now that we have covered all that is entailed in making a marketing campaign on the web, I want to take a moment to go over how Onward Development can help in this process. 

As you noticed, building the different websites or web pages for a marketing campaign, requires a certain level of expertise. To this extent we have created a new product called Further Websites. Further websites are designed to be created with a quick turnaround time, they are optimized to be found by search engines and load fast. More importantly, we work with you so you don’t have to spend time learning how to code or figuring out how a template works to tweak it. 

Another product we have is Fuse Integrations. Fuse connects your different systems so information is always up-to-date. With Fuse, you can send information from your CRM to your marketing software if they have an API. For example, we have customers that deal with one software for candidate tracking and with a vendor for background checks. They need to be able to send a candidate to this other system and receive the results of the background check. If the systems were not connected, the HR person would have to do a manual process twice for each candidate they are considering. Fuse connects these systems so all the information goes back and forth between them and the HR person can save time. 

Finally, we offer custom software development. Custom software is built based on your business needs to solve your business problems. It can be a combination of things; for instance, a platform where users can register, receive a sequence of emails, then be able to pay online for your service or product. Meanwhile the information about this user can be sent over to other systems such as your CRM or any other database. 
If anyone here has thought about creating a new website, redesigning an existing one, integrating two systems, or creating a custom software or mobile app for their business, please contact us and let’s schedule a time to talk about your goals and how we can help you.

How to improve your home health website

Growing your home health website not only grows your business, it also leads to more people cared for, and more jobs for caregivers. But how do you do it?

While every business is different, there are a few key elements that make incremental growth attainable, measurable, and sustainable for any home health agency. 

These days, most people visit a website to learn more about their services before inquiring or scheduling care. A strong digital presence and quality sales tools will grow your home health business while maintaining ADA and HIPAA compliance, attracting quality caregivers, and increasing the number of clients who start personal care services.

Is Your Agency’s Website Ready to Grow?

Feeling ready to grow and being prepared to grow can be vastly different things. Your drive and readiness to build your agency are absolutely essential for growth, but it’s imperative you have the right tools in place to facilitate sustainable growth. 

In an eye-opening analysis of over 200 home health agencies websites, our research revealed that only 72% have clear contact information listed on their website. And a staggering 83% don’t have a way to self-schedule appointments online at all. Even if a potential lead is highly motivated to request care, they might not know how to schedule a visit or reach your customer service team with your current website.

A professional website with clear information, intuitive navigation, and good search engine optimization will lay the foundation for more successful outbound communication, sales conversations, and highly satisfied clients.

So, are you ready to improve your home health website?

Click on the links below as we go deeper into what to consider to improve your website so patients, caretakers, and candidates can find you online easily. 

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

Download now

Improve your home health website with clear information, calls to action, & easy navigation

How speed affects your home care website design

Why your home health website design should be mobile friendly

Tools for home health website sales

Bonus: 6 Tactics to Grow Your Home Health Agency

6 Tactics to Grow Your Home Health Agency

This post is part of our series on how to improve home health care websites. You can view all the topics on the How to improve your home health website blog post.

Growing your home health agency is an excellent way to contribute to your community. You’ll simultaneously create new jobs for nurses and caregivers while providing care to those in need. 

While there’s no secret recipe to achieve instant business growth, there are tactics you can use to drive traffic to your website, increase consideration of your services, and systematically increase the list of patients you serve. 

There’s a lot of competition in the home health care industry, but the right business tactics can help you grow your business, serve your community, and emerge as an industry leader.

Begin Growing Your Agency With These 6 Digital Tactics

Whether you’re starting a new home health care agency or looking to build on your existing company’s success, rapid and sustainable growth are possible with the right tools and tactics. 

Your digital properties including your website, app, and social media pages can be designed and used to help your agency stand out from the crowd and take your business to the next level. 

#1 Social Media

90.4% of Millennials, 77.5% of Generation Xers, and 48.2% of Baby Boomers are active social media users. The average person spends about 3 hours a day on platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. If you’re not using social media to reach your audience, you could be missing out on the opportunity to reach thousands of potential patients, nurses, and caregivers.

The key to effective social media marketing and engagement is taking the time to understand your audience, which platforms they frequent, and regularly posting content that resonates with them. If your posts aren’t driving much engagement now, try sticking to a regular posting schedule and varying the types of content you post.

Since 40% of people 65 years and older use Facebook regularly to see pictures of their grandkids, reconnect with old friends, read news, and find activities and events taking place in their community, you might consider starting with your Facebook page before moving on to other social networks.

Not sure what to post? Here are some ideas:

  • Local events
  • Patient testimonials
  • Activities for seniors
  • New patient webinars
  • Health & nutrition information
  • Updates to your app & website
  • Exercises for those with limited mobility
  • Live interviews with nurses & caretakers

Social media channels are ripe for building strong communities where people engage regularly, give feedback, and become loyal customers. Direct social media communication can be approached much like in-person networking where you engage in conversation, build trust, answer questions, and share valuable information. 

When people respond to your posts or reach out with a question in social media, be personable in your response just like you would if they were to walk into your office.

Use their name to show they have your attention.

Address their question/comment before sharing more information about your home health care agency.

Share information and resources to help them understand their options.

Type out answers in addition to directing them to a page on your website.

Respond privately if personal information is needed.

Tip: Start with one social media account and invest your time and energy there instead of spreading yourself thin across all the channels at one time. Once you’ve established yourself on one you can begin adding others. 

#2 Website

Every home health care agency absolutely needs a website to attract new patients and caregivers, but it’s not enough to just have a pretty homepage. 

There is a lot that goes into designing and developing the experience a website provides to craft an attractive website that is easy to find, easy to use, and effective at driving new appointments.

In fact, 73% of companies invest in professional website design to help their home health care agency stand out from competitors. Does yours stand out?

Your website should be:

Fast! Studies show that you only have 3 seconds to make a first impression as 40% of visitors will leave your website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. A web development team can help you optimize your site to make it load faster.

On Brand. A website that’s consistent with your brand image and personality is much more effective that one that just looks nice. A well-branded website builds brand recognition and helps your home health care agency stand out from competition. Make sure to provide your web development team the branding assets they need to align your logo, colors, graphics, and voice across your website and app.

Search Engine Optimized. When a customer searches “home health care agency” in Google, you want your company to be at the top of that list. For that to happen, you need to optimize your website. Search engines look for many pages of relevant content that use the keywords customers are searching for. Your chosen web development team can help you manage the technical elements including, meta tags, title pages, image tags, and an updated business directory listing. 

Mobile Optimized. 63% of home health care service searches begin on mobile devices including smartphones and tablets so it’s essential your website is optimized for these smaller screens. That might mean adjusting the text and image sizes on your existing website or designing an improved experience for mobile visitors including a collapsed menu or forms with fewer fields to complete.

Educational & Informative. Quality content that is relevant to customers will help improve your website’s SEO and establish your agency as a thought leader in the home health care industry. Use a variety of content to appeal to your audience including, photos, videos, blog posts, and FAQs. The more types of content, the more appealing you are to a varied audience. 

Tip: Include images, videos, and blog posts that showcase positive reviews and testimonials to build trust with those who want to learn more about your home health care agency. 

#3 Live Chat

Live chat has become the top support channel of choice for many potential patients. In fact,  41% of consumers prefer live chat support over any other customer service method. More importantly, the home health care industry is just starting to dip their toes into this highly effective tool, which means that any business using it will stand out. 

Live chat, also called live support or chatbot, allows your business to have a real-time text conversation online with visitors to your website. The purpose is to allow a person to get immediate help, whether they have a question or would like to make an appointment. 

Commonly found on retail websites, live chat is an innovative and powerful tool for a growing home health care agency. 

How to Choose a Live Chat Tool

Choosing a reliable live chat tool is essential for success. While you can find live chat website plugins, a professional web development team will help you design, implement and even manage an intricate and beneficial live chat system. 

If you’re ready to add a live chat tool to your website, consider these questions to help your chosen developer implement the best solution for your home health care agency.

Questions to consider:

  1. Should your live chat work on smartphones and tablets?
  2. Is your team ready to answer online questions in real time?
  3. Should live chat be available 24/7 or just during business hours?
  4. Would you like the ability to proactively reach out to your website visitors?
  5. Are you interested in automatically saving chat records and/or collecting data?
  6. Would you like to integrate it into your customer management and/or marketing software?

If you’d like your live chat tool to work around the clock, you’ll need to either have a customer service team that can respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or an automated response system. This is where hiring a web development team can make a big difference.

If you don’t have the staff to respond in real-time, a web developer can design your live chat tool to immediately respond to frequently asked questions, schedule appointments, and update profile information like a new address or phone number. Your automatic responses can be programmed to run 24/7 or just during the hours your customer service team is unavailable, like nights and weekends.

Modern live chat systems can also empower your home health care agency to initiate new conversations. For example, if a customer has visited multiple pages on your website pertaining to companion care, the live chat tool can alert your team to strike up a conversation. Simply reaching out to inquire about the care needed can give them the push they need to schedule appointments. 

Offering live chat on your website will help improve the customer service experience your home health care agency provides, which will also set the tone for the quality of care a patient can expect to receive. As 56% of people admit they have stopped doing business with a company following a poor customer service experience, it’s essential your live chat tool is configured to offer excellent and reliable service.

Tip: If you implement live chat on your website, make sure that there is someone monitoring responses regularly to get the full customer support benefits. If you don’t have someone on your team who can manage it, there are 3rd party teams available to help. Ask your web developer to recommend a reliable team.

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

Download now

#4 Online Appointment Scheduling

What’s the most important factor that influences a patient’s decision making when scheduling an appointment? 

51.3% of patients say convenience and access to appointment scheduling is the single most important factor. Online appointment scheduling makes it easy for new and existing patients to book care 24 hours a day, 7 days a week while also reducing the administrative tasks your team is involved in and providing a better experience for everyone involved.

Online scheduling can also be extremely beneficial to patients interested in scheduling multiple appointments and people who schedule care for their loved ones. It’s especially beneficial to those who may be hard of hearing and have trouble making appointments over the phone.

From a caregiver’s perspective, online scheduling also helps them streamline their daily schedules by allowing them to schedule based on their patient’s proximity to other appointments that day. 

As digital resources, like online scheduling, become more prevalent in the health care industry, patients are beginning to prefer the ease and convenience of using these systems. Without an online scheduling tool, you may be losing out on new patients who would prefer to book online or don’t have time to call during normal business hours. 

Tip: When looking to add an online scheduling system, talk to a web development team that specializes in home health care websites and apps. They can help you incorporate new online scheduling tools that include automated appointment reminders to help reduce no shows and late cancellations.

#5 Landing Pages

Another aspect of your web development should be the addition of landing pages. Your core website will have a lot of information, but landing pages allow you to target messages and improve interactions to achieve a specific goal such as scheduling in-home care following a surgery.

Landing pages are especially important if you invest in advertising. When advertising, associated landing pages should encourage viewers to do something very specific like schedule a consultation or download a brochure. 

Landing pages can help drive traffic and improve SEO, but most of all, businesses use landing pages to generate new interest. In fact, 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each unique marketing campaign. 

Tip: For an exceptionally effective landing page, make sure you work with your chosen developer to zero-in on the offer and focus on what you want people to accomplish. Remove any distractions or additional links.

#6 Mobile App

It might seem like a huge undertaking to consider building an app specifically for your home health care agency, but the ROI is definitely there for an app done right. By the year 2022, there will be 258 billion mobile app downloads, many home health care agency apps to improve access to care. Will yours be one of them? 

An app can help your home health care agency:

Enhance the patient experience. Mobile apps are specifically designed for smaller screen sizes, so it’s easier and simpler for users to schedule appointments and set up automated medication alerts.

Provide easier access. Unlike your website, an app is always visible on a person’s screen so your services remain on their mind. Mobile apps can often be designed to open faster with a simplified experience to target specific needs such as accessing upcoming appointments.

Offer better care. Apps allow home health care agencies to have a direct relationship with customers by enabling communication wherever they are. Your app can be built to send push notifications reminding users of upcoming appointments, medication schedules, or test results.

Increase caregiver efficiency. Your app can be designed to make it easier for nurses and caregivers to self-select new patients, input care notes, get appointment reminders, access critical patient information, and get driving directions on the go.

Streamline operations. Apps can automate routine processes and improve workflows by tracking completed appointments and sending details straight to your payroll department to eliminate extra paperwork and processing time.

Tip: Work with your chosen website development team to ensure your app is worth downloading and offers the features that will help your home health care agency grow.

Get Ready to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency!

Growing your home health care agency can be done systematically with the right blend of innovative digital tactics and strategic marketing.

At Onward Development, we understand the importance of embracing digital technology to improve the patient experience, increase appointment bookings, encourage repeated use, and build brand loyalty and trust. As patient expectations grow, we’re here to help you take advantage of this prime opportunity to get ahead of your competition and grow your home health care business with a website and/or app. 

Want to learn more ways you can encourage your home health care agency’s growth? 

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

Download now

Why your home health website design should be mobile friendly

This post is part of our series on how to improve your home health website design. You can view all the topics on the How to improve your home health website blog post.

Did you know that 63% of home health service searches begin on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets? This is why it is imperative your home health website design works on all devices, particularly on smartphones. 

While most websites will display on mobile devices, a website designed for smaller smartphone and tablet screens provides a much better user experience. Before smartphones, websites were designed to a fixed size to display properly on a standard computer screen. 

Today, devices are built in a wide range of screen sizes and websites need to be designed to fit a variety of viewports (the area of a website that can be seen on a smartphone, tablet, or computer). 

That means all images, text, and tools used on your website need to fit 6.1” iPhone 11 screens, 6.8” Samsung Galaxy Note Plus screens, 10.2” iPad screens, 12.3” Surface Pro 7 screens, 21.5” iMac screens, etc. It’s important all images and your website’s viewport are optimized for these mobile devices, fonts aren’t too big or too small for the viewport, and the website layout adapts to fit all screen sizes.

In addition to building mobile-friendly websites, developers pay close attention to how long it takes for pages on your website to load on different mobile devices. If your website is difficult to navigate or takes forever to load, visitors may become frustrated and even take their business to a competing agency without giving yours another thought.

Common problems with a website’s mobile experience include:

  • Slow load time
  • Poor formatting
  • Difficult navigation
  • Broken or missing images/text

Google works hard to provide its users the best possible experience and will actually penalize a website by knocking it down in search results if it does not display well on mobile devices. 

According to Backlinko, a website that shows first in Google search results averages 31.7% clicks while a second page search result averages out considerably lower at 0.78%. That means no matter how great your website is, a poor mobile display can cost you your first page search result even if the search was specifically for your agency’s name! A subpar mobile website can even bump a competing agency with a mobile-friendly website up above your listing in search.

The good news is, it’s possible to add a mobile version to your existing home health website design or build a new website that displays equally across all screen sizes.

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

Download now

Tools for home health website sales

This post is part of our series on how to improve your home health website. You can view all the topics on the How to improve your home health website blog post.

As more and more new inquiries begin online, it’s important you have effective sales tools built into your website to truly grow your home health agency.

For example, what are your current options if a website visitor has a question about medication pickup and delivery services? Can they call your phone number directly? What if they are hard of hearing? Can they email or do you provide a contact form?

Chat windows are growing in popularity for their ability to quickly provide answers to commonly asked questions and offer personalized support. According to author and influencer, Neil Patel, about 79% of people use live chat when it’s offered on a website and 57% actually prefer to use it over other communication when making decisions about using your services. Simply adding live chat functionality to your website has the power to increase conversions by as much as 45%.

Live chat windows can be set up as a live connection to one of your customer service representatives in addition to existing phone support. They can also be programmed to automatically provide scripted support to help visitors feel valued and heard during their decision making process.

Another excellent sales tool to add to your website is a self-service appointment setting tool for consultations and services. These make it easier for patients to schedule care on their own time and take control of their health. Adding appointment setting tools can help decrease the time your team spends on the phone and increase the quality of customer service provided.

If you do any digital advertising or manage a social media presence and don’t need to adhere to HIPAA compliance, you might also consider adding a Facebook pixel and/or re-targeting tracking code to your website for better success. These simple additions to your website’s code help advertisers better target your audience and display your ads to the right people. This, in turn, makes your advertising campaigns more effective and can be instrumental in growing your home health business.

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

Download now

How speed affects your home care website design

This post is part of our series on how to improve home care website design. You can view all the topics on the How to improve your home health website blog post.

Does your website load immediately, or is there a lull? 

Believe it or not, every millisecond of load time counts against your home care website as potential patients and family members increasingly expect immediate results. Just two seconds while your banner image loads can frustrate people and send them running to your competitor with a slightly faster website. 

In fact, more than 50% of people will completely give up on your home health agency if it takes more than 3 seconds to load your website on their smartphone or tablet. 

Every. Single. Second. Counts.

If you’re getting ready to launch your first website or improve an outdated website, be absolutely certain it’s built to load pages and run scheduling tools quickly on all devices, regardless of a person’s internet connectivity. 

There are a number of strategies skilled website developers use to increase a website’s speed while still maintaining a robust, interesting, and content-heavy website. For example, they often save images as JPEG instead of a PNG to cut the file size in half, resize them to fit the webpage appropriately, and some may even compress the image to encourage a page to load quicker. 

Experienced development and design teams know that as a website’s load time increases from 1 second to 10 seconds, the probability that a visitor leaves the website before it loads increases by a stunning 123%. 

If you’re thinking about a new home care website design, ask your chosen developer what your current load times are and what it will take to get them all under 3 seconds. They may be able to clean unnecessary JavaScript code, remove unpredictable 3rd party widgets, and even tell you exactly how many images is optimal for your website to load in under 3 seconds every time. 

Of course, websites should be designed to grow with your business as you add new locations and new services. As you grow and best practices evolve, be sure your chosen web development team will continually optimize and improve your website to ensure no code or images negatively impact load times on any device.

Use a Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs work by saving a version of each website you visit to help it load quicker the next time you visit. The saved version is especially handy when a potential patient tries to visit your website when traffic is heavier than usual due to a limited time promotion or deadline. Our CDN is designed to help make your website faster, stronger, and more reliable to empower your agency’s exponential growth.

Our CDNs Ensure Your Website:

  • Loads quickly
  • Can grow & expand affordably
  • Can withstand heavy traffic surges
  • Continues to function well as your daily visitors increase

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Improve your home health care website with clear information, calls to action, & easy navigation.

This post is part of our series on how to improve home health care websites. You can view all the topics on the How to improve your home health website blog post.

Take a moment and visit your home health care website. Try to look at it as if you’re seeing it for the first time. 

Is it clear what services your agency offers? Are there any buttons or text that encourage you to click to schedule care or learn more?

When a potential patient or caretaker lands on your home health care website, they are most likely looking for more information about the services your agency offers, where care is available, pricing, available jobs, or how they can schedule an appointment. A good website not only contains this information, but also makes it easy to find and understand by offering a visually appealing website with a positive user experience.

Your website should be designed to make it quick and easy for website visitors to find the information they need. In fact, there’s a whole field around this idea. It’s called User Experience Design (UX) and User Interaction Design (UI).

Experienced website designers often incorporate call-to-action buttons into a website’s design to encourage clicks and drive traffic to specific pages, like your appointment scheduling page. These virtual buttons are designed as part of a good user experience to visually stand out from the rest of the page and drive clicks to increase conversions. 

What is your number one goal when a new visitor lands on your homepage? Whether it’s scheduling a consultation, requesting more information, or learning about your agency’s unique philosophy, a call-to-action button will make that desired action very clear.

Search bars, tags, and landing pages can also be extremely helpful for visitors looking for something specific. You might highlight popular topics such as finding daily care for an aging parent with alzheimers or short term care for surgery recovery in a banner right on your homepage.

Hiring expert user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) designers will ensure your website is professionally built for easy navigation and conversion optimization.

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There’s a 50% chance this is the reason why your website is not effective

website-effectiveness

I bet no one thinks much about the effectiveness of their website. Once it has been created, one assumes it works. I would think the same but that cannot be further from the truth. The simplest things are easy to forget when it comes to having a website. Last month we analyzed over 200 websites and got many interesting bits of information. One of the particular concerning pieces of information to me is that less than half of the websites (48.5%) had clear call-to-actions. After conducting internal research, we know that over 50% of websites don’t have clear call-to-actions. Click to learn how to solve. This is a big problem since a websites’ call-to-action is what guides a visitor to take a desired action.

A call-to-action or CTA, is a message telling the user what to do. Oftentimes, a CTA is a button. Below are some examples. Imagine you want a website visitor to:

  • Buy a product, then you will likely put a button that reads “Add to Cart” on that product.
  • Become a subscriber to your blog, then you’ll likely add a “Subscribe” button to a form.
  • Read your blog post, then you will add a “Read more” button to a snippet of the actual post.

The problem with not being clear about the actions that a visitor should take while on the website is that the visitor will not know what to do. Think as someone that is not familiar with a given website, once you land on a page, how do you know what to do? You are going to start looking for clues as to how to do the action that you want. It’s easy to infer that this user will not be able to do their desired action because they don’t know how to get to where they need to. Not having clear CTAs creates problems for the owner of the site because they will get low conversions. Also, it creates problems for the website visitors since they won’t be able to accomplish what they need.

Having buttons that are clear but the website visitor can’t see upon page load is not useful either. For some reason, people like to show a nice picture and then hide the text so it will show once the user scrolls down the page. The problem with this is that most website visitors won’t scroll through so the site will lose opportunities. While a page may have several CTAs, these tend to be divided by sections and the main CTA of the page should be shown upon the first page load (at the very top).

It is a great exercise to review our own website effectiveness to ensure that CTAs are placed properly. Ensure every page has a clear CTA shown upon first load. How is your site doing when it comes to CTAs?

Download our white paper, “How to Grow Your Home Health Care Agency” now.

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How to maximize your website for the new post COVID-19 digital consumer

All of our lives have changed. Now is common to order curbside, have video-chat happy hours, and attempt to work from home while we have kids demanding our attention. The new reality got us thinking: How does the post COVID-19 digital consumer look like? What changes does our business need to do to adapt to them?

COVID-19 is referred to as the great accelerator. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, summarized the pandemic period as

“two years of digital transformation in two months”

On average, it takes 2-8 months to form a habit. This means that for some people, they will continue to shop online for toilet paper, or order curbside at Target after the pandemic is gone. Further, it tells us that the way consumers behave is changing and this brings challenges and opportunities to our businesses.

Here are some numbers on how consumer behaviour is changing:

  • 50% of Drizly, an alcohol delivery app, users plan to keep buying alcohol using their app for the remainder of the year.
  • Clothing store Francesca saw a 50% drop in in-store traffic but a surge on online shopping. Now, they are building an iOS and Android app to connect with their customers.
  • Instacart is hiring hundreds of thousands more contractors to cope with demand. This period has been so good for them, they finally are not losing money. In fact, they expected to make $10 million in net profit in April.

Download our quick guide to Prepare your Business for the post COVID-19 Digital Consumer

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What does it mean for your business?

To answer this question we have to go back to the basics. How does the post COVID-19 digital consumer looks in your industry? What does your customer want? What problem are they trying to solve? How can your business help them?

And this is when you have to evaluate your website:

  1. Is it helping potential customers find your business?
  2. Does it help differentiate your company from the competition?
  3. Does it help you build credibility?
  4. Is it generating revenue for your business? Does it need to?
  5. How is it helping with delivering your offer or post-sales customer support?

How does your website help your customers find you online?

There are three main categories to consider here: SEO, Local Search, and Social Search. 

SEO

In an ideal world, when your customers look for anything related to your business, your website will show first on the search results. According to backlinko.com, being the # 1 search result gets you 31.7% of clicks for a given keyword. Being on the second page, gets you 0.78% of clicks. In summary, you want to be part of the top 10 results for strategic keywords so potential customers can find you. 

Local search

According to Google, Local results appear for people who search for businesses and places near their location. They’re shown in a number of places across Maps and Search.

Naturally, the context on which we use a mobile device varies. For example, we may use our smartphones to find a restaurant because we are on the go. Thesearchreview.com shows mobile search statistics. About 60% of searches are done on mobile devices while 72% of searches for food and beverages are carried using a smartphone. 

According to the findings, mobile searches tend to serve a more significant role in answering consumers’ questions earlier on the purchase journey, with navigational or brand-specific searches still more likely to be conducted from a desktop. Conversely, a desktop is used for more in-depth research. 

Adding a listing to Google or Bing Local Places can help your business be found by mobile searches more effectively. 

Social Search

Social search happens when search engines integrate your social graph (jargon for “the people you’re connected to via social media”), into their search results for relevant terms.

What this means is that an online review, or other relevant social media post, may appear next to a keyword. 

Being on top of your social media assets and reviews may help control what your possible customers encounter to show your most positive side.

In conclusion, now we know that your website will help your customers and future customers find you on any of their devices. Plus, you should be intentional about what keywords and phrases you use on your website copy to ensure you are ranking for the keywords that will attract more of your ideal visitors. 

How does your website help your business stand out from the competition?

Listing your products online

It may sound obvious but your website should present the product or services you offer. 81% of consumers start their buying journey online. If you don’t have your product or services listed; first, people won’t find you; second, you may be discarded from consideration since you are not clear about what your product or service does. Moreover, these consumers may be collecting data for 79 days before deciding to make a purchase. 

Not only the products should be listed, they should also be described in a compelling way. At a minimum, talk to your ideal customer in the copy and use the benefits to sell them a vision of what the product will do for them. If you want to take it a step further, use superlatives but make sure to back them up with data. Or use sensory adjectives to paint a picture of what could be. While you are at it, write a story to lower rational barriers against persuasion techniques. Finally use social proof to take them over the finish line.

How does your website build credibility about your business?

Your website is a great way to build credibility for your business. Think about all the great interactions your business has with your customers. Then, think about how your customers use social media. Put them together and you can have a powerful tool to create word-of-mouth about your business. Word of Mouth marketing impression results 5x more sales than a paid media impression and people are 90% more likely to trust and buy from a brand recommended by a friend. Therefore, displaying positive social media posts from your customers in your website, should help you increase credibility with your visitors. Testimonials collected by your team should have a similar effect. 

Other ways to  build credibility are to highlight your team, partnerships, and awards. It’s always good to show the human side of your business, let the user know more about your personality as a company while highlighting the expertise that your team has. 

Moreover, you can build expertise by sharing industry articles, creating a blog that includes industry news and thought-leadership pieces; plus, news about your company. According to ThriveHive, there are statistics to show that:

  • The custom content from blogs warms prospective customers up to your business.
  • Businesses that blog generate more leads than businesses that don’t.
  • Blogging can sometimes be just as effective, if not more, in promoting your company than through advertisements.
  • Blogging helps buyers find you.

Generated content can then be used to enter the conversation via social media. If your audience sees you as adding to the conversation, they may perceive you as an authority in the field as well. 

Ensure your website has some of the discussed elements before it’s launched. You want to make sure your clients perceive you as an authority and trust you will do a good job.

Generate revenue

At first thought, we may think that the only way a website may make money for a business is by selling products online. After all, we all use Amazon. But looking closer at ways a website can generate revenues for us, we would find that our site could:

  • Collect money
  • Create estimates and quotes
  • Offer physical and digital products online
  • Offer services online
  • Offer real-time chat to help answer customer’s questions and close sales

Collect money

It’s very likely that the post COVID-19 digital consumer will not want to go to a location and pay in person. Therefore, having the ability to collect money online is very useful and can become essential to doing business even after the pandemic ends. 

Notice the difference between collecting money online and over the phone. When you collect money over the phone, you will need a staff person to stop what they are doing and collect the credit cards details. Then, they will either process it on a machine or call a number to get authorization. After, they would have to notify the customer. In short, it’s a cumbersome process. Contrast this with collecting money online, the customer clicks on a link, enters their details and gets immediate confirmation of the payment. Your staff will not be interrupted and money will be collected.

Create estimates and quotes 

If you have a service business, it is very likely you have to send several estimates or quotes per month. Remember how it takes 79 days to close a sale after a consumer starts doing research? Having a tool in your website to provide estimates, can help bring customers when they are researching for different providers. It will indicate that it’s easy to do business with you and that you understand how the selling process works. Providing an estimate tool may be a way to get a visitor’s information as well. 

A quote is going to be created in the final steps of the selling process. Imagine if you could create a quote online and not online send it digitally but your customers can sign it and pay online. This can save many emails and remove friction from the process. 

Offer online physical or digital products

An e-commerce solution is a straightforward way of making money online. Visitors come to the site and decide if your offering is worth their money. If it is, they pay online. Then, they will wait for 3-5 days (longer times during COVID-19) to receive their physical product, or expect to download their digital product right away. 

Your business can sell gift cards (digital products), as well as, branded products such as t-shirts, or hats online and create a new revenue stream. 

Offer services online for the post COVID-19 Digital Consumer

Most web and mobile applications are online services; from book-keeping to health services, everytime we think of an app, it’s very likely it is a service. Providing services online is a scalable way of providing a service. 

Your business can provide a free way to schedule appointments with your consultants to determine if a project is viable or even sell online consultations. 

Real-time answers to questions

Artificial intelligence is opening the door for new technologies to be used to help increase your sales. A chatbot could help answer frequently asked questions to your onlines visitors. Eventually, they could even collect payment information and generate sales for your customers. For now though, they can help quickly identify a support visit versus a sales visit and redirect leads to a sales person when appropriate. According to Neilpatel.com, about 79% of people use live chat and over half (57%) prefer to use it when they are trying to make a decision about a product. Lastly, having a live chat functionality on your site, can improve your site conversions up to 45%. 

Provide customer support; incentivize repurchase + referrals

Well congrats! You did an online or offline sale. How can your website help you now?

Deliver the product

We discussed how your site can be created to actually provide the product or service. An often missing piece is that the website can help with giving an excellent customer experience right after the sale. Imagine if you send your customer a link with a video explaining how the new product works, or even a list of frequently asked questions. These are ways in which you can create excitement while the customer is waiting for the product to be delivered. 

Streamline operations

On the operations side, your business may start small and you could retain in your mind everything that needed to happen. As your business grows, however, you are going to start needing systems to help deliver the product or service. Your website could become an extension of this system or being updated accordingly to provide a better customer experience. Moreover, if you are using multiple systems, you can create your own to streamline operations and fulfill more orders with the same amount of people. 

Organized support strategy

Now that you have a customer and have delivered a product, you may need to provide support. A combination of support may be required nowadays: phone, emails, and web. Your website will more than likely be the first place where your customers go for help. Are you making it easy to find support? Offering a dedicated support website is a great idea, linking from your main website is a must. For support, you may have a frequently asked questions section, a knowledge base to get into more details, and live chat with a support agent. All of this functionality can live in your website or be a separate entity on its own. 

Capture customer sentiment

Finally, if you ever want to ask for referrals or recommendations, how do you know who to ask? This is where understanding what your customers think of your business or service comes handy. Your website can be used to collect information about its visitors but also about your customers! 

Collecting information about your visitors can help understand consumer behaviour and help you identify what has to be changed on the website to increase your online sales or conversions.

Collecting information about your customers can help identify how happy your customers are with your business and how likely they are to refer others to your business. The Net Promoter Score®, or NPS®, measures customer experience and predicts business growth. This proven metric transformed the business world and now provides the core measurement for customer experience management programs around the world.

Conclusion

As you can see, your website can be a strategic tool that enables your business to increase sales, improve operational efficiencies, and/or delight your customers. For many businesses, their website is all three things. Are you maximizing your web presence for the post COVID-19 digital consumer? If not, consider talking to experts about your options. 

Once you understand what a website can do for you, it will open the doors to see how it fits into your overall strategy. COVID-19 is changing not only the way consumers behave online, but also the way we do business. Now is the perfect time to reassess your digital strategy and revamp your website if needed. 

Download our quick guide to Prepare your Business for the post COVID-19 Digital Consumer

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